How To Choose A Ceiling Fan - A Buyer's Guide
There are a lot of different ceiling fans on the market so knowing how to choose a ceiling fan means that you'll get the fan that's right for your
The first thing to consider is blade size, the following fan sizing is recommended:
- Up to 12 square metre room - 107cm blades
- 12 square metres to 20 square metres - 122cm blades
- 20 square metres to 36 square metres - 132 cm blades or bigger
Then there's blade material, wooden blades are a little quieter than steel blades so are recommended for bedrooms and quiet areas. Steel blades generally
have a bigger pitch (pitch is the angle of the blade in relation to horizontal), so will move more air but the trade off is the increased noise level.
You also need to consider ceiling height. For obvious safety reasons the fan should be at least 2.1 meters from the floor and ideally will have about 300mm distance to the ceiling. If your ceiling is higher than 3 meters you can use an extension rod to hang the fan lower, generally you'll be able to buy one in the same material as your fan and they can be cut to length.
Just about every ceiling fan you buy now will have a switch to reverse the direction of the fan. In the summer you'll have the fan blowing air down but in the winter if you run the fan at a low speed in reverse they will help with your heating by moving the warmer air under your ceiling out to the walls and down.
If you're installing the fan in a position in a room where there was a light then go for a ceiling fan with a built in light. These are available in a multitude of designs and types, the energy efficient options include either LEDs or often a fluorescent ring type light.
Another thing you'll need to know about how to choose a ceiling fan is the fan motor itself. They are rated in Watts and often also in numbers of poles, the number of poles has to do with the configuration of the motor but basically the higher the Wattage and number of motor poles, the more powerful the fan motor will be.
Ideally you want an energy efficient fan and light, be sure to check the product specifications so you can compare between the different models before making your final decision.
Many fans also now have the option of remote controls, the only real instance I can personally see where a remote control would be really beneficial would be in a bedroom where you may have the fan on when you go to bed and as the ambient temperature drops during the night you wake up at 4am feeling quite chilly. Then it would be handy to just reach for the remote control on your bedside table and turn the fan off.
Otherwise I think they just make things more complicated, add expense, and also introduce more components to possibly fail at some point down the track. Obviously I'm not a fan of remote control ceiling fans! But if it's something that you think would be handy they're readily available with new fans and the remote control kits themselves can be retrofitted to most existing fans.
A quality ceiling fan will have a 'cathedral' style hanging bracket. This is a cup type bracket that fixes to the ceiling and the top of the fan pole has a ball that sits in the cup. The advantages of this type of fixing is that the fan will find its own vertical hanging angle (this will allow the fan to spin true and will reduce wobble) and you can also mount the fans on sloped ceilings up to about a 30 degree angle.
Bear in mind that most ceiling fans are only rated for indoor use. It's common to have them in pergolas and under patios and while they may not be exposed directly to the weather, being outdoors the dust and moisture will still find its way into the fan components. This will greatly reduce the fan's working life. There are fans available that are rated for outdoor use and that's also reflected on the price tag.
Finally, there is now a style of ceiling fan available that has retractable fan blades. When the fan is turned off the blades retract into the central housing, this makes them a lot neater and if it's a fan/light combo some of them look just like a pendant light fitting. Once the fan starts to spin the centrifugal force throws the blades out from the housing. It's a novel idea and it will be interesting to see if they become popular.
So that's about all you need to know on how to choose a ceiling fan. If you have any queries or need some advice please feel free to contact us at FRC Web & Electrical and we'll do our best to help.